UCP-SARnet has made another few steps forward in developing collaboration with China. We have initiated negotiations with two community organizations in Shanghai, with Fudan University in Shanghai, Sichuan University in Chengdu, Chengdu University and Lanzhou University.
Community Center Shanghai is an organization created to give support for foreign workers and their families. As adaptation to a new culture can be really challenging, many of workers who come to China for a prolonged time experience severe difficulties with adaptation to new conditions and that often affects family relationships. Allison Mena, who is Promotion Director of the organization will intermediate further discussions about our collaboration.
Their primary objective of Hands on Shanghai is to identify the needs of local NGOs and organize flexible volunteer programs for busy professionals. To connect volunteers with local community-based organizations, Hands On Shanghai engages in three main activities:
1) Coordinate volunteer opportunities for active professionals, according to their availability and personal interests
2) Support local community organizations with direct donations, fundraising planning and execution, community project design and implementation
3) Design and manage a variety of volunteer programs for private sector partners in Shanghai.
Richard Brubaker, the Executive Director of HOS, will be our contact person for developing relationship between this organization and UCP-SARnet and he will also help us contact other community projects in Shanghai.
At the Fudan University in Shanghai, one of the very highly ranked Chinese universities, we discussed plans for collaboration with Dr. You Hai, Professor at the School of Social Development and Public Policy, as well as with Dr. Lizhu Fan, who is the Associate Dean of this school and a Secretary General of the Center for Social Development.
At the Sichuan University in Chengdu (Arizona State University has a partnership agreement with this university that is another top higher education institution in China) we discussed plans for collaboration with Dr. Jia AiYuan from the School of Public Administration and with Dr. Jiang Xiaoping, the Dean of this school. We were informed that the university is creating a new school of social work that will be open in August and that this can ba another channel for our collaboration.
At the University of Chengdu we continued our initial talks held in October with the Vice President of the university by discussing in details plans for collaboration with Prof. Xu Yuexing, Director of the Office of International Cooperation& Exchange and Dean of School of International Education. The three avenues of collaboration were discussed: online courses, virtual conferences and organization of UCP-SARnet team among students. Prof. Xu will help us to contact with relevant faculty members at the Chengdu University.
We were invited by Prof. Lili Xu to visit Lanzhou University in Ginsan Province where she organized for us several meetings with the faculty and students. We met with Prof. Chen WenJiang (Dean of Social Sciences), Prof. Yongdrol K. TsongKha, PhD, (Professor for Tibetan & Ethnic Studies at Lanzhou University, Director of Institute for Tibeto-Burman and Altaic Studies), Yongjin Li, PhD (Associate professor of Environmental Sociology Postdoctoral Scholar of Social Ecology PhD of Human Geography), Ms. Wang Shiding (Director of Social Science Project Office), and Dr. Qie Pai (Researcher in Ethnic Studies Program).
Prof. XuLili (second from the left) and faculty from Lanzhou University with Dr. Marek Wosinski
During the official meeting with the Dean we discussed such options for collaboration as Internet courses, creating a UCP-SARnet Student Club, organization of the conference an publishing on UCP-SARnet website community related projects made by students. The most interesting perspective was related to the collaboration on professional development training for university graduates who will be sent by the government to remote rural areas to develop strong communities. Dr. Oie Pai has already receive funding from the Chinese Scholarship Program and can come to Arizona for one year to work with us on a Chinese version of such training.
Finally, we were invited by Yan Huang, Deputy Head, Asia & Pacific Division at the Foreign Affairs Office of Chengdu Municipal Government, to submit a proposal of a conference on the Multicultural perspective on Community Leadership to be organized in Chengdu in September 2010. The proposal should be submitted by the end of January, and the program of the conference should include participation of significant officials of international organizations.
With the assistance offered by 4 members of our Executive Team who are Chinese, during the next two months we will follow up the above contacts and update you about the development of our collaboration with Chinese partners.
For more pictures from Lanzhou University please CLICK HERE.